Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?' - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian

Friday, June 30, 2006

Preparing for the next race

The Willow Bay Run is in August and it is the race that the beginning running group will do as their first. So, even though my psyche is still recovering from the tri, it is time for me to hit the pavement.

We have had some wet, hot weather here. Wednesday morning, I took off to do my usually 2 big loops with Mo. It was about 7:30, nice and early and it should have been cool, right? Within 5 minutes of starting, the sun came out and started to bake the wet pavement. I felt like I was running in a steam room. We did our first loop, started on our second. At about 1.5 miles, Mo stops. Just out and out stops. Standing in a puddle. He has never stopped on me before. But this time, he was done. We took a turn, headed back home. We ran about 1.8 miles.

When I head out on a run, I always have a plan. How far, how long, how fast I might want to try for. Running with a dog though, means the dog always take precedent. Mo loves to run and so our rule is when he is done, we are done. I have found that he is good for about 30 minutes or 3 miles. I think he can physically go for longer but he doesn't want to. I have felt him mentally check out when I have tried to go longer. His interest isn't there. So when I run with Mo, I run what he wants.

2nd set house pics

This is looking down the hall from the living room. To the left is our bedroom hall. To the right, first is the laundry room, which is also the entry from the garage. Next are the two bedroom doors.

The main bathroom:

The master bathroom, looking at the shower stall. The toilet is off to the right of the shower.

Looking out the laundry room, through the garage:

house update

For a while there, my house interest was lagging. People would ask me for updates and news and I wasn't able to work up any enthusiasm. I know - it's a crime! Building a house and being apathetic about it! Well, all it took was for a little progress to be made and my excitement and interest has revived. I guess plumbing and electrical wiring didn't do anything for me :-)

Here are the latest pictures I took today. All the wiring and plumbing is done. The sheetrock, garage floor and basement are poured.

The above picture is taken from the kitchen. The half wall is where the raised breakfast bar will be. On the right wall, you can see the fireplace.
This picture is of the master bedroom's outside wall. The door to the left will go outside to a patio and the door on the right is to the master bath.
Fireplace. It looks all little and lonesome by itself on that wall :-)
This is looking down the hall into the master bedroom.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I can't draw a circle......

But I have a friend who can! Not only that, but she is currently working on a piece of art to enter into the NYS Fair and is blogging her process. Pretty cool! Check it out Pencil, Paint & Paws.

Friday, June 23, 2006

10 things to know about me

1) Glen Campbell's version of Galveston can really make me mist up.
2) I like to knit.
3) I have no artistic ability.
4) I am probably not as good to my parents as I should be.
5) I like some bluegrass music.
6) I listen to the Backstreet Boys.
7) I feel the overwhelming desire to be anywhere except where I am.
8) I was always picked among the last in school gym classes.
9) Physical activity is very, very hard. I do not find it easy to exercise.
10) I think it is immoral and indefensible to eat meat.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


2,510 Americans dead....
2 Australians
113 Britons
13 Bulgarians
3 Danes
2 Dutch
2 Estonians
1 Fijian
1 Hungarian
31 Italians
1 Kazakh
1 Latvian
17 Poles
2 Romanians
2 Salvadoran
3 Slovaks
11 Spaniards
2 Thai
18 Ukrainians
18,572 American service people wounded in action

I don't know how our fearless leaders sleep at night.

Eddie Vedder doing Bob Dylan's Masters of War

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

wasted morning

I have spent 2 hours this morning reading episode syopsis (synopsi??) of thirtysomething. How I wish that show was being rerun on cable or out on dvd. Reading all the episode summaries though, really isn't a great use of my time. I will confess, I misted up a little reading the episode where Gary died in the car accident.

Things must be a bit slow at work for Budge as I already had two calls from her. But what is up with Spark???? Silence. Nothing. Where is she???:-)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

And down it came.....

I am really loving this unemployment of Wen's. I mean, I know she needs a job, and I hope she gets one soon, but the past few weeks have been pretty sweet. This morning, after a pit stop for her to take a pre-employment drug test for a potential job, we headed out to Clark's Reservation to snag some letterboxes. We took the four boys. Neither of us checked the weather forecast. After two boxes, the skies opened up on us - torrential downpour! I mean, drenching! We were soaked. So that put an end to that plan.

Back at home here, just drying out and chilling, we made reservations for a campsite up at Lake Placid. We are going to be spectators for the Lake Placid Ironman Race!!!!! I CANNOT WAIT!!! Budge and Spark agreed to come - they better not back out.

While we were hanging and chatting - who walks in? Kate! I called her last night to ask when she was coming home and she said later in the week. She wanted to surprise me so she had Erin's mom pick her up. She then regaled us with tales of how the 'other half' lives. She works as a weekend nanny for a Manhattan family with a house in the Hamptons. She was cracking us up with the stories. Way too funny!

Some tri pics

Waiting for the swim to start:

And we are off:

In the transition area getting ready for the bike leg:

Heading off on the run, trying to get my visor situated:

Budge finishing her run strong:

Monday, June 19, 2006

Back of the Pack Race Report

I was dreading it, my training had slacked off, but as always, race day arrives. This was my second time doing Green Lakes - a 'sprint' triathlon, 800 yard swim, 12.6 mile bike ride, 3.1 mile run. Only crazy triathletes would consider an event over 15 miles a 'sprint'!! :-) I was a little worried going in, not only for my late training breakdown but that we spent Friday night in Rochester at a concert. I slept most of the way home and was in bed by 12:30 with the alarm set for 6 am. Not recommended for the night before a race but unavoidable.

Saturday dawned rainy. I don't mind running in rain, unless it is a torrential downpour, but I don't like to bike in the rain. Slick pavement worries me greatly and the Green Lakes bike course has one killer downhill at the back end that I have no desire to coast down in the rain. However, the rain passed and it turned out to be a beautiful day, perfect race conditions. It got hotter later in the day but in the morning.....perfect!

A and I pulled into the park at about 7:30 am, right ahead of Budge. Wen was already there, set up in the transition area and checked in. We unloaded our cars, got our tires pumped up and head towards the transition area and claimed spots right next to Wen. It was then to the check in. I saw quite a few old faces, Steve, John (who took my first 12 week cycle class so long ago!), Ann.... There was that feeling of excitement, anticipation, dread and nerves that is so common at the beginning of any race.

After heading back to the transition area to suit up, it was time to mill around the beach and wait.

They funnel us one by one into the water, counting. At the end of the swim, we come out of the water in the same manner - one by one, counted. They have to make sure no one is left in the water!

The swim this year was no where as bad as the two previous races I have done. There wasn't the turmoil, the physical contact that I have experienced before. I was also more comfortable in the water this time. All that being said, the swim was still extremely scary and I have no desire to do it again anytime real soon! :-)

I turned over on my back twice to catch my breath, and side stroked twice to site the buoys, but otherwise it was straight crawl for me. There were three buoys placed. An orange one for the seniors to use as a turn point for their 500 yard swim and two for the regular races. As I passed the orange buoy I thought, 'oh man, I am only 250 yards into an 800 yard swim and I am tired and don't want to do this!' However, by the time I reached the first white buoy, I got into my rhythm (as much as I could), tapped each buoy as I went around (I always figure if I am swimming all the way out there to them, I want to touch them!) and I front crawled the rest of the way fairly comfortably.

Out of the water into the transition area, I met up with Budge. I was about 15 seconds behind her. She didn't look all that great. I kept asking her if she had her inhaler and she just wheezed in response. We were roughly together for the first 3 miles of the bike and she recovered very quickly and of course, pulled away from me like I was standing still. I did pass two people on the bike :-) A record for me!

The bike was going along okay for me. I made it up the first big hill and about mile 8 my left cleat came out. I couldn't get it clipped back in. I stopped and looked and the screws had come loose. I checked my kit and didn't find the allen wrench I could have sworn was in there. So I tightened them up with the fingers as much as possible and continued on. I couldn't clip back in but was doing ok as this section of the course was fairly flat. And then came the big hill on the back of the course....It is not uncommon for racers to walk that hill. It does happen. I have never walked the hill. I have gone up it pretty slow but never had to walk. Well, I walked it Saturday :-( I just couldn't get the power I needed with pulling up on my pedal and I couldn't pull up without being clipped in. At one point, I hear this woman coming up behind me asking if I needed a pump or an allen wrench. It was Ann, grinding her way up the hill. I told her my cleat was loose but to keep going. There was no way either of us would have been able to ride up that hill, starting in the middle. So I trudged up it, mounted at the top and enjoyed the ride down, passing a couple of folks. My top speed on the downhill was 37 mph on the dot.

Back to the transition area. It was so great because each time there were a group of people, A and some other friends of ours, shouting and cheering. It really makes a huge difference!

The run was my usual run - grueling. Man, it just hurt. I was almost wishing to be back in the water. Thursday when Wen, Budge and I ran it, we decided that if we met up with each other at the turnoff to the small lake, we would stick together the rest of the way in. Well, Budge was probably finished by the time I started the run, but Wen caught me about a half mile in, so she stuck with me, chatting the whole time, keeping me going.

My time was 3 minutes slower than my first Green Lakes. I think the walk up the hill contributed a little to that. Overall though, we came, we swam/biked/ran, and we finished. Most days that is enough :-)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Countdown to Saturday

Headed out to Green Lakes with Budge and Wen to test the waters. Budge rented a wetsuit and needed to give it a try. The water was very cold. The race buoys were already placed. None of us feel good about this. The less said, the better. We also did a quick run around the big lake, foregoing the 2nd lake loop. Well, it wasn't quick......

Anyways, came home and Jim was watching the England/Trinidad Tobago match. Remember though, I could care less about soccer. What happens? I get sucked right in and waste almost 2 hours of my time. Well, I might not care about soccer all that much but it can be very entertaining.......more eyecandy:
Luca Toni from the Italian world cup team

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Just way too funny

Ok, I know that I am really accelerating my way to Hades, but I have to admit, this just made my day. You couldn't write this sh*t and make people believe it - the angel dropping, the faces. I love the fact that the other contestants think it was rigged for Mrs. Russia to win (the pageant DID take place in Russia!). And then they re-do it all, the angel and everything but could only get 6 contestants back on stage to applaud Mrs. Russia. Look at the face of the presenter when they re-do the awarding and announce Mrs. Russia the winner - the acting is oscar-caliber. This is just too, too much.....


Yesterday was only Monday and I kept thinking it was Wednesday. I certainly don't want to wish my days away and closer to Saturday's tri!

I wasn't aware but I guess last night was the season premiere of Hell's Kitchen. I putzed around and then went to bed in a depressive funk and missed it! They better re-run that sh*t!!! I am so utterly brokenhearted to have missed my Gordo :-( with his deliciously craggy face and accent screaming at those poor misguided hopefuls, 'Shu(t) (h)it, shu(t) (h)it, shu(t) (h)it down!!!!!!!!' Oh, man, I so hope there is a replay.

It is summer, school is out. I feel like something should be 'out' in my life but, unfortch, as an adult, there is no summer vacation. I don't feel like cleaning my house (which really needs it), cooking, working out or anything. About the only thing I do is keep plugging away at an appallingly dismal rate at a project I have to get done. The good thing is I am still working on it, the bad thing is it should have been done a month ago.

3 of Budge's dogs are staying with us until this evening. They arrived Sunday morning. Let's just say - 6 dogs is a lot of dog!!! Just a huge amount of canine volume! A and I have talked before about 2 being a limit and I am starting to come around to that way of thinking :-) These three are so very good, though, with the exception of their early morning wake up routine. After about 4 am, there can be no movement in our bed, no turning over, stretching, nothing. Any movement is taken by them as the siren calling them to begin their morning! :-) I can usually get them to settle back two or three times, especially since at that hour, my dogs aren't joining in. Their attitude (rightly, I think) is f*ck this, it is 4 am. However, around 6 am, they are willing to join in and I end up getting up, if only so A can get a little more sleep.

They are very, very good about meal times. Usually, when we have visitor dogs, feeding times are a little chaotic. With new dogs in the mix, the dogs don't feel there is a routine and it is a mad scramble for dishes. The new dogs go for any dish, my dogs don't understand why there is a strange dog eating their food - there is potential for disaster. However, these three dogs are very mannerly with their food. They stand by while I put my dogs food down and wait patiently while I put theirs down and call them over. Only once did I have to move one dog away from someone else's dish. Hard to believe that meal times with 6 dogs could be easy but it is :-)

Friday, June 09, 2006

World Cup starts today

Frankly, I could care less about soccer and the World Cup. Just doesn't interest me. But I live with a 17 yr old who is a huge fan, completely with a wardrobe of team jerseys, so I know more about 'football' than I really care to. But here is something all of us (at least of the female persuasion) can care about.........consider it my gift to you! :-) Becks.......

house update

As of yesterday evening, the roof was on the house! Windows and all the exterior doors with the exception of the master bedroom were installed. Also, the fireplace was installed. It is looking more and more like a house :-) We have the electrical walk through this afternoon at 1:30.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

1000 hits

My hit counter registered over 1000 hits yesterday for my little blog here. As Budge so cynically pointed out, probably 980 were mine, but be that as it may..............1ooo hits. Who are you people? Why am I asking? The hits were probably from random, automated scanning :-)

What is up with the bathroom?

Last night, I took all three dogs upstairs and we settled down for the night. Ang hopped on the bed, Mal settled in his dog bed and Mo headed to the bathroom and proceeded to try to 'nest' on the linoleum floor. Now, he is very uncomfortable during thunderstorms. They scare him. He pants, paces and generally is very stressed when he senses one coming or during one. The bathroom, maybe because it is a small, enclosed space, seems to be where he wants to be.

Lately, though, he wants to sleep in the bathroom even when there is no storm coming. Last night, after hollering at him to stop digging at the bathroom floor, in an attempt to 'fluff' it up and make it comfortable, I hauled his bed in there. It just barely fits. He settled down, with his head next to the toilet, and slept the night through.

I pulled the plans for the new house and I think the master bath is going to be big enough for him to sleep in.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

car shopping addendum

When we arrived at the dealership, we introduced ourselves to a guy in the parking lot. It turned out to be the sales manager. He looked a little harried and distracted. He told us later on, that he was assessing the value of 4 cars people wanted to trade in. And he knew they were going to be upset. He said that lately, all day long, they just look at trade-ins and they are all SUVs, trucks, and big vehicles and they are all worth, well, not much. It makes the people who want to trade them in, a little upset. He said one guy wanted to trade in a jeep on a more gas efficient car. He owed $25,000 on it. The trade in value was $10,000.

house update

We drove by yesterday and yet again, no one on the site, no work being done. A went right into the sales office and had a talk with them. I didn't want to be witness to anything unpleasant (my husband confronts no one and complains about nothing!!! so the fact he was ticked was a little scary) so I stayed in the car. He spoke the site manager. Turns out the old site manager just upped and quit on them - to take over managing some Home Depots, I guess - and the new guy is still trying to get everything up and running. He said roofing material was to be delivered that day and then roofing would start the next day (today). We went by last night, and sure enough, there it all was - shingles and other roofing material! Hopefully, the roofing will start today. That will be exciting to see!

Big Day

Today is Jim's last official day of school. Tomorrow he has one exam and then he will be done for good. But today is the official end of his 12 years of work. He is our very last one through the public school system so this is a little bittersweet - my baby!!!

Big night

Last night A just went out and bought a car. Only his second ever! His first car he bought right out of college and he has kept it ever since. It is a 1994 saturn. He is a maniac about maintenance so it is a pretty solid car but the time has come to replace it. Last month was a $2200 repair and this month was over $1000 to repair the a/c. So he went out, plopped down a deposit on a car he has never test driven - a prius. Man, those little suckers are expensive. I tried to convince him to buy a cheaper, really sporty two door Camry Solara but he wouldn't bite. It will take any where from 3-6 weeks for the car to come in. Below is the color he choose with a back up choice of red.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

You know it is that time......

Elections coming up! When the republicans start trotting out their old, tried and true social issues to rally their base. This week we have Dubya coming out to support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. What do you think our forefathers would say - our constitution amended in this way? Our amendments (except for that nasty little one taking our booze temporarily away from us-shame on them) have safeguarded our political rights, given political rights to the historically oppressed and now we are going to put in it that 2 men can't marry? Why? Because we need to 'safeguard the sanctity of marriage'? Please. Marriage is a joke in our society. If they really want to safeguard the sanctity, make it harder to divorce. But you won't see that happen.

I'm sure next week will be partial birth abortion. And what has been done on these issues over the past two years? Nothing! Know why? Because the republicans don't care about them. Seriously. These issues have value to the politicians only in their ability to emotionally sway people. My very own mother voted for Shrub the second time around because of the partial birth abortion issue. She weighed the ongoing costs of the Iraq war vs. what the religious right freaks and politicians told her and voted for Bush. You know what? She regrets it now.

The only thing more despicable than these lying bastards in the White House, running this war, controlling Congress is the democrats. Winning against these guys should be a slam dunk and the dems can't even manage that. WTF? I really despair sometimes.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Runs with John

Sunday Mo and I headed out to run with Budge and her dog John. She had never run with him before but he did awesome! Especially since it was his first time. My experience with running with a dog is that it takes a couple of times before they understand the distinction between a 'run' and a 'walk'. Until they do, they weave, they try to stop and smell, they pull, going too fast, they try to stop and mark. You keep them on a short leash and everytime they try to stop, tell them, 'no' and keep going. It doesn't take long before they 'get' it. That is exactly how Mo was when we first started running. Within a short time though he was hanging right at my side, with a nice slack leash and was pacing himself. We laughed thinking what Mo must have thought watching John try to take off like a bat out of hell. "Oh, man, buddy, slow it down! We gotta a long way to go! This isn't a racetrack - these crazy people run longer than we are used to!"

Anyways, John did great. We ran about 19 minutes before he stopped and told us he had enough so we walked back home. He really seemed like he liked it. He is carrying an extra couple of pounds (I know that doesn't sound like much for a dog that probably goes over 70 lbs., but remember, he is a greyhound. 2 or 3 pounds extra really shows up on these guys easy). I think those pounds would come off within a week or two of 2-3x a week running. Sunday, he did well over a mile so I think he could be up to 3 miles in a month or so.

I love running with Mo and I think everyone should have a dog to run with :-)


Green Lakes Tri - 6/17/06

Tickets to Etta James, Rochester - 6/16/06

Man, oh, man, what WAS I thinking? Or rather, I must NOT have been thinking......


Yesterday, Budge casually mentioned to me that she thought maybe we were overtraining. It is something that I have been given much thought to lately. I always start out on these ambitious 16-18 week training programs and usually get sick around week 10. I am thinking that next year for Green Lakes I might just do a simple 8 week training program. Hey, it's not like I will make any money doing this or even finish in the middle of the pack :-). Why should I kill myself or make myself sick. Is it a coincidence that my two shingles outbreaks have happened while training intensively? After Green Lakes, I am going to take a couple of easy weeks and then launch into an easy 6-8 weeks program for the Bud 10k.

This is for Budge

Monday morning video break - Budge gets nervous when we move off the shoulder into the turning lane. At least we don't have to do this. This is a helmet cam shot video of the NYC Drag Race. They are bike messengers and it's called the drag race because some of them ride in drag. The point at about 4:40 where they thread through two buses is just sick. Oh......this guys are also on fixed gear bikes too. Amazing!

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Wen and I took the four dogs out yesterday morning, Wil, Earl, Cos and Ang, to Clark Reservation, continuing our pursuit of all the boxes hidden there. Beautiful day - got a little humid when the sun came out. We only saw one other couple hiking and Angus gave them a good warning growl while the other three swarmed them for attention. :-)

We got:
In Flight - carved by Eyze on the Prize, planted by catbead
In Honor of St. George - NOT the WNY Gathering - carved and planted by catbead (WOM clue)
Little Jewel - carved and planted by catbead
Wen searched and found 4 boxes I already had:
Jukebox Life's Lessons #8 - The Devil Went Down to Georgia - carved by Sprite and Highlander, planted by catbead
It's a Good Day for a Dog, Walk - carved and planted by catbead
That Darn Cat (Box #2 and 3) carved and planted by Spudhund

We hit a driveby - On-on-da-ga at the Jamesville Reservoir and then headed to North Syracuse to the Wizard of Oz Memoiral Oak Grove box. I have looked for this box about 5 times. With Budge, with Spark, with both Budge and Spark. We have not been able to find it. We thought it might have been missing but everyone else after us kept finding it :-/ Wen found it months ago so we headed back there to see if I could find with a little assistance from her. I took her right to where we thought it should be - she said we were where she found it. She pointed to a log. I said, "We have looked and dug under that log and there was nothing there". I walked over to it, bent over and there was the box! WTH??? All I can say is the box wasn't there any of the times Budge, Spark and I looked :-) I am glad to be able to cross that one off and be done with it - it was starting to acquire white whale status in my mind.

Then it was home to deal with son#2 and prom night :-) Oh! Driveby on the house reveals roof trusses and roof up. It is starting to look like a house :-)

RIP bunny

Mo spent the night in the bathroom. Don't know why - it wasn't thundering but was very humid and oppressive-feeling. He was pacing and panting so I dragged his bed in the bathroom and he settled down for the night.

At 5:30 am, I woke up feeling the need for a bathroom visit. I figured I should probably just get up since if I went into the bathroom it would get him up and I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep anyways.

I bring the dogs downstairs, take a quick glance for bunnies in hte backyard. All clear? So I let them out. Well, as soon as I saw Angus and Mo take off like bats out of hell, I knew it wasn't all clear. The bunny ran around the back of the shed with Mo right on his tail. The last time he tried this manuever, it was successful. The sharp turns slowed the dogs down just enough that the bunny was able to get to the gate and squeeze out. This time, however, while Mo stayed on the trail of the bunny, Angus went around the other way and it was all over for the bunny. Of course, from the door, I am trying to holler at them (has anyone ever been able to vocally call a terrier and a greyhound off while chasing prey?) QUIETLY because it si 5:45 am and even though we are moving soon, I don't want to make my neighbors too happy to see us leave.

A brief, horrifying tug of war ensued and then it was over :-(. Thank goodness the bunny didn't scream like I have heard them do sometimes. I got out to the backyard with a couple of plastic grocery bags, watched as the poor thing took its last few breaths and then bagged it up - retching and gagging the whole time. All I kept thinking about is, "I am a vegetarian and I am having to deal with this still warm corpse of an innocent animal" Bleech! Incidences like this always make me ponder the disgustingness of eating flesh. I mean, who could look a that little corpse and think, "Hmmmm, I will take it inside, skin and cook it and then put that once living flesh into my mouth, chew, swallow and enjoy it"?

Of course, Mo and Ang were extremely proud of themselves.